Sunday, August 30, 2009
Not your average family portrait, but I love it. Shep rarely eats any sugary junk food and it was his birthday party and his birthday cake so he had a piece. This photo was taken a short time later. :-)
Saturday, August 22, 2009
This was home for a couple of nights. You can't see our rig, but it is on the edge of the lake at the far end. The park was practically empty the whole time we were there.
Two prison photos. The first prison was the metal box. It must have been horrible to be there for any length of time.
The museum is currently housed in a building that once held German prisoners of war, but the building is falling apart and the museum is going through stuff and organizing it in anticipation of moving to a new building. Looked like a really BIG job to us. Normally photos are not allowed in the museum but I promised not to use the flash and was allowed to take some photos.
I love the way Native Americans told their story in a circle like this. This one tells of the death of Charles Bent, an outbreak of measles, and a meteor shower. The photo was taken at Bent's Old Fort.
Monday, August 17, 2009
This impressive adobe fort was totally reconstructed by the National Park Service using dimensions written down by a visitor to the park around 1840.
Legend says the Sisters prayed to St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters, to solve the problem of getting up into the balcony. On the last day of their nine day novena a man appeared looking for work. It took him months to finish the staircase and after he finished it, he disappeared without pay and could never be found. Some think maybe it was St. Joseph himself who built the stairway.
The staircase has two 360 degree turns and no visible means of support, something that still has experts scratching their heads today.
The stairway's carpenter, whoever he was, built a magnificent structure. The design was innovative for the time and some of the design considerations still perplex experts today.
The staircase is quite famous. There was even a television movie titled "The Staircase."
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
We visited Tent Rocks National Monument this morning. Getting there involved a l-o-n-g drive down a four-mile washboardy gravel road but being there among the funky rock formations was fun. The four of us did a 1+ mile loop. The guys said it was too hot to go on and hike the steep climb to the top of the mesa but they did it anyway. Lu and I waited for them on a bench under a comfy shade tree. Galen took all the photos today.
The guys found these "Apache Tears" at the top of the mesa. It is against the law to keep them so we threw them in the bushes before leaving the Monument. The stones look like raisins in this photo but are actually a semi-precious gemstone, a type of obsidian that looks like rounded pieces of glass. They are considered to be good luck. According to legend, the stones are the tears shed by the grieving wives and families of a band of Apache warriors who were killed by U.S. Military after the Apaches attacked an Arizona settlement.
Monday, August 10, 2009
We were only in Chama three days - not nearly long enough. I loved the train, the weather, the friendly people. Larry, Lu, Galen and I have talked about going back to volunteer with the railroad for a week. I think I could be very happy spending the whole summer in Chama.
We did a geocache at Heron Lake State Park and then went for a hike. Galen waited until everyone else was off the suspension bridge over the Chama River before he started across so he wouldn't get motion sickness. After the hike we went to the Stone House Lodge Cafe for an excellent lunch. Both of these places were recommended by our hosts at the Sky Mountain RV park. We visited friends of Larry and Lu on the way back to Chama - what a lovely, peaceful place Roy and Alice have up in the hills.
The neat thing about Chama is that you can get right down on the tracks and up close to the trains. We didn't ride the train but we chased it, an activity so popular you can get a list from the visitor center of where to stop for the best photos. Total strangers meet at the stops and talk while waiting for the train. It is a happening sort of thing and a lot of fun. Riders and chasers wave at each other at each and every stop. We followed the train up to the Cumbres Pass before turning around.